Career Center

There is no pre-med committee at UM!

Due to the size of the University of Michigan pre-medical student body, in lieu of a formal pre-medical committee, the Career Center’s Reference Letter Service (RLS) serves as the centralized location for housing evaluations written in support of application to medical school.


UM Reference Letter Service vs. AMCAS & AACOMAS' Letter Services

While both  AMCAS & AACOMAS can receive letters directly from evaluators via their websites, these application services will only distribute respectively to participating MD and DO schools. This means that if you are applying to both MD and DO schools, non-participating schools such as those in the state of Texas, international medical schools, etc., your evaluators will have to write multiple times on your behalf.  In addition, AMCAS and AACOMAS are not repositories of letters beyond the current application cycle.  Given that nationally about half of all applicants fail to gain admission, if you need to reapply, you will have to collect new letters.  In contrast, if you utilize the UM Reference Letter Service, your evaluators will only need to write one letter. The original will stay at UM for the longevity of your RLS file while virtual or paper copies may be sent to AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS, individual medical schools, MD/PHD programs, and international medical schools for the current and future cycles.


Using the UM’s Reference Letter Service

If using the UM RLS, be sure to mark the appropriate box (Medical School) when requesting a letter.  In order to ensure the confidentiality and specificity of letters written in support of application to medical school, it is a business practice of the UM RLS to only send letters marked for "Medical School" to AMCAS, AACOMAS, or individual medical school admissions offices.  Letters marked for "Medical School" may not be used to apply to other graduate or professional schools, internships, externships, scholarships, fellowships, summer programs or jobs.

The vast majority of allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools allow, respectively, AMCAS/TMDSAS and AACOMAS to collect and distribute letters on their behalf.  See sections below for specific instructions.


Sending letters to AMCAS via the RLS

When you send your letters directly to AMCAS (via the RLS) for further distribution to the medical schools participating in the AMCAS LOE program you have the option to send your letters either:

  • As a letter packet, or
  • As individual letters (recommended approach!)
  1. Letter Packet

If you send all your letters as a packet, AMCAS handles your packet as an “unbreakable” unit and will forward it in its entirety to any medical school as you designated in your AMCAS application. Use this option only if you plan to use the exact same combination of letters for all your medical schools participating in the AMCAS LOE program. Here is what to do:

In your AMCAS application:

  • Complete the Letter of Evaluation Tab to obtain a single Letter ID # for the entire packet—choose “Letter Packet”
  • Use the RLS name and contact instead of the Letter Writer/Contact information
  • You don’t need to add additional authors for a Letter Packet
  • Identify the medical schools to which the whole packet should be sent in the Medical Schools Tab
  • Print an AMCAS Letter Request Form for your records, make a note of the Letter ID for the whole packet and remember to include it when submitting your request to send to the RLS.

In your RLS request to send:

  • Ensure all your letters have already been received by the RLS before submitting your request
  • Choose the “Medical School Admissions-AMCAS Only” request type option
  • Include the Letter ID # you were assigned for your Letter Packet in the Comments/Notes box—AMCAS will not accept letters without this number!
  1. Individual Letters (recommended for flexibility)

If you send your letters as individual units, AMCAS will allow you to choose customized combinations of letters for each school as you specify in your AMCAS application. Here is what to do:

In your AMCAS application:

  • Complete the Letter of Evaluation Tab to obtain a Letter ID # for each letter—choose “Individual Letter” multiple times
  • Enter the Letter Writer’s name and contact information as appropriate
  • Choose specific letters for each of your designated medical schools in the Medical Schools Tab—your pre-populated list of letters already entered will appear
  • Print a letter request form for each letter for your records; make a note of the Letter IDs and remember to include them in your request to send through the RLS
  • Please note: Letters' information does not have to be entered before submission of your AMCAS application.

In your RLS request to send:

  • Ensure all your letters have already been received by the RLS before submitting your request
  • Choose the “Medical School Admissions-AMCAS Only” request type option
  • Include the Letter ID #s you were assigned for each of your letters in the Comments/Notes box—AMCAS will not accept letters without these numbers!

Sending letters to osteopathic medical schools via the RLS

For the first time with the 2015-2016 application cycle, osteopathic medical schools applicants have the option to send their letters either to:

  • AACOMAS for further distribution to all the schools they are targeting (recommeded) or
  • Directly to the individual schools themselves.

Note:  When letters are sent through AACOMAS, the letters will be bundled with your verified application and sent to all schools you have designated.  When sending letters to individual osteopathic medical schools, it will be your responsibility to specify in your RLS request, which schools you wish to send to--see details further below.


Sending letters to AACOMAS via the RLS (recommended)

If you wish to send your letters to AACOMAS for further distribution to all the schools you are applying to, here is what to do:

In your AACOMAS application:

  • In the Evaluations section, choose Create Reference Request
  • After typing your evaluators' name, enter one RLS email address for each evaluator's contact email:

               Reference.Letter.Service@umich.edu
               Reference.Letter.Service1@umich.edu
               Reference.Letter.Service2@umich.edu
               Reference.Letter.Service3@umich.edu
               ReferenceLetterService4@umich.edu               
               rlservice@umich.edu

In your RLS request to send:

  • Ensure all your letters have already been received by the RLS before submitting your request
  • Enter your AACOMAS ID# in the appropriate field
  • Choose Medical School Admission DO:  Individual School for request type; Virtual $12 for shipping method; and AACOMAS for virtual schools
  • Highlight all letters you wish to send (no more than 6 allowed).

Sending letters to individual osteopathic schools via the RLS

With the exception of TCOM, all DO schools accept letters of evaluation via a system called VirtualEvals.  If you have a file with the UM Reference Letter Service, you can have your letters sent through this system.

Do your best to assemble a comprehensive combination of letters from your very first RLS request to send via VirtualEvals since it will determine your VirtualEvals core set of letters for the remainder of the current application cycle. (Although you will not be able to delete or change letters from your initial VirtualEvals core set, you will be able to add new letters if needed.)

Most students find it helpful to decide on a few letters from the very beginning and send that core set to all schools to which they are applying.  Should your core set of letters exceed the maximum number of letters allowed by any given school, include in your secondary application a notation in regard to which letters in your core set you wish for the Admissions Committee to use.  This is particularly important if you are applying to MSU COM since its Admissions Committee will not review more than two letters.

Here is what to do:

In your AACOMAS application:

  • In the Evaluation section, choose "I am not adding any references"

In your RLS request to send:

  • Ensure all your letters have already been received by the RLS before submitting your request
  • Enter your AACOMAS ID# in the appropriate field
  • Choose Medical School Admission DO:  Individual School for request type; Virtual $12 for shipping method; and specific schools from the pulldown menu for virtual schools
  • Highlight letters you wish to send
  • Include the same e-mail address that you used to complete your AACOMAS application in the Comments/Notes box--since some schools (i.e., MSU COM) will use it as the identifier to retrieve your letters.

 


Sending letters to TMDSAS via the RLS

According to TMDSAS instructions, medical school applicants may submit two individual letters of evaluation or one Health Professions Committee Letter/Packet.  In your application, you will have to indicate which type of evaluations you will submit: HP Committee Packet or Individual Letters.

Because UM does not have a Health Professions Committee, in lieu of a true HP Committee Packet, you will be submitting a packet/collection of individual letters of your choosing from your RLS file.  The RLS, however, will not make any additional assessments of your candidacy.  If you choose this “packet” option, there will be no limit to the number of letters you can submit, although common sense suggests not sending more than 3-5, especially if you are a traditional applicant.

If you are sending a packet through the RLS, you must indicate in your application that your packet is coming from The University of Michigan.  You will have the option to send your letters to TMDSAS electronically via a system called VirtualEvals or via regular mail.  Please refer to the RLS website for shipping options


Sending letters to individual schools via the RLS (other than virtually)

For those few schools that will accept them, there is always the option to send your letters via regular paper mail--especially to international medical schools.  Be sure to follow each school's specific instructions.

» Details about RLS shipping methods


Questions

For questions, please contact the RLS office at 734/764-7459 or send an e-mail to rlservice@umich.edu.